Sunday, February 21, 2016

Among Cuban-American Business Leaders, Divided Views On Way Forward

MIAMI, Florida -- In December, a group of 10 Cuban-American business leaders, including some Republicans, traveled to Cuba, to see for themselves if anything had changed since the December 2014 historic announcement that the U.S. and Cuba would restore diplomatic ties. The group returned to the U.S. so convinced closer ties to the communist island would help everyday Cubans that they published a full-page ad in the Miami Herald titled "An Open Letter to Our Fellow Cuban-Americans," urging others to join their cause.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jorge Mejia >

Jorge Mejia, Real Estate Agent, Interviewed by Laura Rosado

What do you need to be a leader?
For me it’s always around honesty and humility. I am a quite hard working man and when I look at those in the public eye who I respect – they seem to all be humble and honest.
What inspired you in your life?
Opportunity. When I came here and realized what I could accomplish with hard work, I was inspired. Working as I do in real estate – finding people the homes they will live in, I am inspired knowing that they will get a home and I will build my business and there is nothing unpleasant about any of it. Buying a home is a happy time; I get to share in that. It’s inspiring.
Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
Yes, language is the way we best communicate. The fact that I can communicate in both English and Spanish makes me a better sales person. I love the culture and the language of my birth, and I am in awe of the language of my country.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I don’t think about it. There is no decision to drive ahead. It’s my life and I am grateful I have a road in front of me.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Getting started. Building a base of people who would recommend me. Real estate is a slow build but worth it.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
The way our industry treats each other. I try so very hard to leave it behind, and for the most part I do, but if all brokers worked toward the best results for our customers, we would have a more pleasurable experience.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a great family man. To come to the United States and be the best me I could be.

Tell us about three leaders that you admire.
The Pope. He is humble. He is honest – or I hope and believe he is. It seems as if he had the way he wanted to behave in place and just stuck to the simple every day things, and look at where he is. I admire him most perhaps. And, he speaks Spanish!
President Obama, who again never pounds his chest or asks for credit. I think and hope he will be treated better later in life, and his contributions will be recognized. I like the way he carries himself and I like the way he presents himself.
Mark Moskowitz. You might never have heard his name, but he owns Argo, the company I work for. He is very, very successful and he is very smart. But he is the most humble man I have ever worked with, and I admire him greatly. I try and be like him around others. He is an inspiration to be sure.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I prefer what the client prefers. Different for each one. Sometimes they prefer a cup of coffee. I try and figure out what works for them, not for me. But my favorite meal of the day is dinner – with family.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I don’t think of sacrifice. I think of service and I’ve enjoyed serving my clients. I serve them the best I can. I listen to what they say matters to them about buying or selling their home, and then I try and do just that. It’s not a sacrifice. It’s really not.

What is your favorite quote?
We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.  Barack Obama

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
I’m not sure I am. The question makes me smile. I don’t want to be unconventional unless I have a reason to be. And, so far, I like convention.

Biggest mistake made?
There is no mistake I’ve made that hasn’t been a lesson that’s helped me. But I guess the biggest mistake I make is when I don’t write something down. There is so much to remember in a day in the times we live.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
 I consider myself as constantly changing as I learn new things, and that’s innovation isn’t it?

About the company:
Argo is a small company that services well those looking to buy and sell apartments. Argo owns many many buildings in the city. We know how they work. We know neighborhoods and our team is not large in number, but we each have something very different we bring to the company and what I bring means I’m respected for my individuality. It’s a great real estate company with a great reputation which makes me proud. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Business leaders lack confidence in IoT technology

A study by IT staffing firm TEksystems reports that businesses are struggling to get Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives past the concept stage. Of the 200 IT and business leaders polled, 42 percent said their business was in early talks regarding IoT and its impact on business. 

However, only 17 percent said they had pilot programs in place; 22 percent said they have finally "transitioned into IoT-driven processes, services and products."

Read full article

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Francheska >

Francheska, Actress, Model and Singer Interviewed by Laura Rosado

What do you need to be a leader?
To be a leader one needs to have a vision, share that vision with others and inspire  to support that vision. A leader stands by their decisions and motivates others to contribute to the vision or set goal. 

What inspired you in your life?
I'm mostly inspired by the two people who mean the most to me, my brother Glenn and  mother Bella. Their love and support to follow my dreams is unconditional and for that I am forever grateful. 

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Being latina has a lot of influence in my business. My culture is expressed through  music, from the “tambora" to the “trompeta”. I am proud to be latina and  my Dominican roots. 

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
When one is going through hard times you are left with no other option than to pick up and start again. There's nothing that you are incapable of overcoming in , it all starts with self will. 

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would change the lack of knowledge artists and people have on the "business side  things" in the music industry.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
I am a singer/songwriter and in my business the biggest challenge has been defining my artistry. Once you define your sound and your style, its magical.  

What was your childhood ambition?
When I was younger I wanted to be a kindergarden teacher

Tell us about three leaders that you admire.
1. Juan Gabriel - his artistry 2. J-Lo - her work ethic 3. Barack Obama - his courage.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
Having been on a couple of tours already I can definitely say one sacrifices being away from loved ones. Being away from my family on my favorite holidays and birthdays, including my own. 

What is your favorite quote?
“intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of

What is your favorite quote?
No. Not difficult, but scary. 

Biggest mistake made?
Biggest mistake has been doubting my vision at a point in my life. I quickly
recovered and got back on track!

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why? 
Of course! I’m always trying to innovate with my music.

About the artist:
Instagram: @francheskamusic
Facebook: www.facebook/public/francheska-gomez

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Juancky >

Juancky, Singer and Songwriter Interviewed by Laura Rosado

What do you need to be a leader?
The Progress of each of the members of the company. The motivation and  for everyone to succeed. 

What inspired you in your life?
Wanting to be heard in every corner of the world. I want to interpret my in a song.
Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
Being Latino has it's advantage in what I do. Being able to interpret and  the hearts of those who do not understand Spanish. I want to represent the  race. 

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Dedication and focus is the only thing that will keep you strong in all that you do. Above all, humility. The hunger for wanting to continue to explore new 

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The biggest challenge I had in my career is wanting to be heard. There are
thousands and thousands of new talents out there and in order to be heard and
considered, much work will be required. Especially willpower.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
For our music to not be marginalized. At the beginning of our music
generation, it was very difficult to expand our music to other horizons. Thank
God we are now able to tour the world with our talent; but there is still a
little thorn in many hearts of not being fully accepted.

What was your childhood ambition?
I always dreamed of being someone big in music. To see who will identify with
what I do. To have my own business, record label. We're still working on that. 

Tell us about three leaders that you admire.
I think my greatest motivation and inspiration has been my mother. My mother
has an incredible talent when it comes to interpret a song. Tremendous voice.
Another would be, Ricardo Arjona, a lyrical talent. 

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I think a good breakfast before meetings is necessary since it is giving you
the energy needed to keep up with a day's full agenda. 

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
The hardest thing about this career is having to spend so many important days
without family. New years, birthdays, Thanksgiving Day. All that, there comes a
time when it makes you feel a certain way and it's a difficult choice. 

What is your favorite quote?
"El querer es poder" which means you have to really want it to succeed,  "No
hay mal que por bien no venga". In other words,Every cloud has a silver lining.
Most importantly, "God's timing is perfect." 

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
I think we have to accept the good with the bad when one takes this career. 

Biggest mistake made?
The biggest mistake I committed was not going to College right after High
School! I started college after nine years, but is never too late to achieve what
you really want. 

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I think so. I think the feelings I transmit in my songs has something
different compared to others. A new feel, a different point of view. I also
believe that we all have something innovative. What we don't have is the tools to develop it. 

About the artist:
Juancky, Singer, Songwriter and Actor.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wisconsin's 48 most powerful Latinos

This is the first in a five-part series from Madison365 highlighting Wisconsin residents of Latino heritage who have accomplished great things in business, education, government, media and the nonprofit sector.

Read full article

Monday, December 28, 2015

3 ways Hispanic women can navigate corporate America

The journey to the C-suite can be a daunting and long road. Few are able to complete it and join the highest level of leadership within America’s top businesses and organizations.

This can be especially true for women and minorities. A recent study shows that women account for 15 percent of C-suite executives and 5 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.

 Read full article

Saturday, December 19, 2015

J.W. Cortes >

J.W. Cortes, Actor, Marine Combat, Activist and Filmaker, Interviewed by Laura Rosado

What do you need to be a leader?
I've always felt that knowing who I was as a person along with what were my strengths and being completely honest as to what my weaknesses were, allowed me to communicate that more effectively and truthfully to whomever I was in charge of leading. It is also important to have a goal that you believe in because there will be times of challenge, frustration, doubt - but having a passion behind what you're doing that comes from within will help fuel the fire and keep you going.

In the Marine Corps we would tell young leaders, "always inspect what you expect" and that meant not just for their troops but ultimately for themselves. Leadership by example has always been at the bedrock of Marine Corps leadership which is where I learned how to be a leader myself and how I continue to lead my family and myself.

What inspired you in your life?
My parents were and still continue to be a tremendous influence in my life. When I think back on who the first heroes I ever meant I would have to say they were my parents who fought not only for a better way of life for us but who continued to improve themselves throughout the years. My dad is also a Vietnam veteran who taught me the value of service and of remembering those who have given us the freedoms we enjoy.

My elementary & junior high school teachers had a tremendous impact on me 
that quite honestly kept me from straying down the wrong path and allowed me to think of what my life could be and that also included a life in the arts.
The Marine Corps I have said many times before and I mean this with every fiber of my body, helped to form the man that I am today but it's saved my life in more ways than I can share here but will one day share in a book I imagine. My family, my bride and two sons are a constant reminder of why I do what I do and that the most critical part of all of my success is that they will draw from it, I hope whenever they question their own footing in this life. 

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
It has and will always have a tremendous influence. We are living in a time of
substantive change which can and should present substantial  opportunity. But, if we look closely at the playing field we'll note that there is still very much
significant disparity and immobility for Latino actors.  

A recent study done by Columbia University revealed the number of Latino actors in prime time television haven't changed in nearly 30 years and remains at a constant 4%.

Despite being the fastest growing demographic, spending over a trillion dollars a
year within this economic landscape and despite having the largest number of
America's youth. I believe the opportunity to increase sales numbers and to
accurately pretrade in our community is there and we need strong leadership to
ensure our place isn't set aside. 

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Much of my success has come from having an incredibly supportive family who has respected my particular journey and what it means not only to me but to a much broader community. I do find myself at times reevaluating where I am and how we can improve but I find that to be a very natural process. 
I think about how adversity changes depending where you stand at any particular stage of your life. For me it's a bit different every time, having gone from Brooklyn to Iraq to Hollywood. 

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Convincing Hollywood that we as Hispanics want and need to see ourselves portrayed as "Super" in respects to the superhero genre. 

If you can change one thing about your business, what would it be?
There is a tremendous opportunity for Hollywood to incorporate more Latinos in the creation of its content, both in front of and behind the camera. If it were up to me I would create more mentorship programs for more of the crafts involved in creating content and I would drive that particular content a bit more aggressively. This year I have begun speaking at schools in my hometown sharing not only my success but also my frustrations on why I think things aren't professing as we believe they should but also, sharing my optimism that we can and will change that trajectory. 

What was your childhood ambition?
As a child I always found the arts to be soothing and to have a transportive quality that helped me to escape a really tough situation growing up in Sunset Park Brooklyn. That continued to flourish in junior high school and in high school where I performed my first musicals. Many years later I pursued that dream again and continue to pursue it to this day and still find it to be incredibly therapeutic in many ways. 

Tell us about three leaders that you admire.
Abraham Lincoln, retired Marine Corps General, General Mattis and artistically I
would have to say that Raul Julia and Ruben Blades have had a tremendous impact on my career. 

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
Most actors will tell you that much of what we do as artists takes place within
ourselves and in many respects, at least in the beginning stages of creativity, is
mostly a solo endeavor. That being said during this times there is a taking away of time from family that comes at a cost. That for me is never an easy pill to swallow. So for me, I would say the biggest sacrifice is time spent away from my family that I'll never get back. 

What is your favorite quote?
When life knocks you down, and it will, try to land on your back -because if you can look up you can get up. 

Is it difficult to be unconventional?

At first I think it is just because finding ones true voice takes time. We often
measure ourselves against other artists because I think it serves as a barometer. That lends itself to the question of "how am I doing with what I'm doing, with this material, with my approach?"  But truth be told it's really about 'you' being as truthful as 'you' can be about who 'you' really are and that's something not everyone is willing to work for.

Biggest mistake made?
Not trusting myself enough and doubting something that I knew all along and that is that 'voice' that continues to talk to us - those who believe there are here on this earth for a much bigger reason. I don't do that anymore. 

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I'm approached by young artists all the time who say that to me but I don't think I'm quite there yet. I do believe in time once I've been able to tell my story, with own unique voice I think I might be closer to what that idea represents. But I don't think about it in that way. I think for me it goes back to applying who I am to whatever the project at hand might be.

Brief description of artist:
J.W. Cortes, award-winning Marine-combat-veteran-turned-actor, singer, filmmaker and activist.
Twitter: @jwcortes


Saturday, December 12, 2015

President of Goya Foods Talks Faith, Values, and Family

According to the Family Business Institute only 12% of family businesses make it to the third generation and a recent EY Family Business Services study found that over one in five family businesses have members who are often engaged in dysfunctional conflict. Surviving, let alone thriving, as a family business is a tall order. One company that is beating the odds is Goya Foods.

Read full article

Saturday, December 5, 2015

CEO of Air Products spinoff says company set on growth

Air Products has been active in mergers and acquisitions for years. It has divested itself of various divisions, closing a chemicals plant in Glendon, for example, and exiting the medical-equipment business.

But never in its 75-year history has Trexlertown's Air Products spun off one of its businesses to form a separate company. That will happen next year with its Materials Technologies division, already renamed Versum Materials. Its soon-to-be chief executive, Guillermo Novo, will lead an estimated global workforce of about 3,300 at 24 plants, including more than 500 employees locally.

Read full article

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tearing Down The Wall: How Stanford Is Helping To Counter The Anti-Hispanic Business Narrative

It’s a typically weather-perfect Wednesday at the Stanford Business School campus, but the CEMEX auditorium is filling with lots on unfamiliar faces. The occasion:  the release of a long-awaited research report by the Stanford Latinos Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), authored by SLEI’s executive director Remy Arteaga. The headline: US Latinos are creating businesses faster than any other ethnic group (roughly 12% of all new starts). Said Doug Rivers, the lead researcher for the study:

Contrary to what you may have heard, Latinos have not been a drag on the economy. It’s quite the opposite

Read full article

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Arilyn I. Martinez Cora >

Arilyn I. Martinez Cora, Filmmaker and Director, Interview by Laura Rosado

What do you need to be a leader?
To be a leader you need to listen and pay attention to the situations that need to be resolved. It is also necessary to have a good team, which you could delegate and divided the responsibilities to work as a team and as a result become successful in any project.

What inspired you in your life?
My inspiration comes from my parents, especially my mother who was oppressed in a given moment of her career and she took the oppression and converted in positivism and she decided to go back to school and she did a master and that education gave her the opportunity to reach higher positions and eliminated the oppression.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Yes because my target are the Latino community specially the teenagers and the women.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?

When there are obstacles in the way I think a lot about the problem and I talked to my friends about it and also to myself to see how I can the problem then I write down things what I can do to fix the problem and that helps me to be back on track and continued in a positive way.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?

The biggest challenge is to find finance for my projects.

What was your childhood ambition?
As a teenager I wanted to be an actress. I try multiple times but it didn’t work and I decided to work behind scenes, which I enjoy the most.

Tell us about three leaders that you admire.
Jenifer Lopez because she started from zero until she created her own empire.
Carolina Herrera because her dedication led her to maintain her career as a great designer.
Sila Maria Calderon the first woman governor in Puerto Rico that although many people talked negative things about her; she helped the poor communities bringing art through education and that’s something that I have not seen in other governments.
Oprah because even thought she passed trough a lot of struggled she move forward on a positive way helping others and herself.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
For business meetings I prefer breakfast because the mind is fresh and ready to process new information. But there are times that if its hard to meet because of the tight schedules I don’t mind to meet at any time if it is to improve my projects.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I have to say be mind it and have my feet on the ground and be realistic about the money. Things that I can do and things that I cannot so my money could long last.

What is your favorite quote?
Everyday is an opportunity to succeed by me.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Here in NY no but in Puerto Rico yes. Here in NY I surround myself with people who are in the entertainment world and it is normal to see people like me and a little bit different to me but talented. The good thing is that we all accept each other as we are. I come from a small town in Guayama, Puerto Rico where people have regular schedules and normal jobs and they don’t understand much the meaning of filmmaker but I explain to them sometimes they understand other times they don’t understand much I just laugh sometimes get harder t como yo y hasta un poco diferentes a mi pero talentosos y lo bueno es que todos nos aceptamos como somos. Ahora en Puerto Rico es distinto vengo de un pueblo pequeño Guayama, PR donde las personas tienen horarios regulares y trabajos comunes y no entienden mucho lo que conlleva ser cineasta pero me la paso explicándoles y pues de manera jocosa ahí veces que entienden ahí veces que no entienden jejeje.

Biggest mistake made?
I think that the mayor mistake that I have done was not trusting my team in the past. This something that I say on the Q & A is very important to believe in the people that we have around. They shake hands every day. It is important to listen and believe in the people that are around us that is the only way to achieve success.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I think I am an innovative because with my projects I expose women from another point of view.  Exposing the reality of our lives, how we really are, how do we feel, how do we struggle and how we become stronger, and how do we succeed on our daily lives.

About the Artist:

Right now I’m a filmmaker and my director statement is to teach and persuade teenagers and women through images and films that convey a positive way to make the right decisions in their daily life. Also I’m improving my skills as writer, director and producer on my own projects but I will like to open up and work for other people in the film industry. Which I do now as a production assistance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lin Manuel Miranda >

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Actor,Composer, Playwrite, Lyrist and Rapper. Interview by Laura Rosado of PlanetM

1) What is it that you need to be a leader?
I don’t think of myself as a leader.  I think of myself as a collaborator.  That’s the fun of creating theater. That by definition, you cannot do it alone.  I work with directors and choreographers, and other writers, and I play a very specific role - and I am very aware of the role I play.  I think that’s the most important gift that a leader can bring to any project - the ability to get everyone talking and on the same page, and the best idea in the room wins.  A leader is not afraid of where the idea comes from, but recognizes what the right idea is, and implements it. 

2) What are some of the things that have inspired you in your life?
Everything in life has truly inspired me.  And as an artist, that’s my job.  An artist’s job is to be inspired, to fall in love with that story so good, that you feel you are the only one who can tell it… that the melody or song in your head can only come to you, not to anyone else.
Our job as artists is to be open.  Sometimes that’s difficult, because sometimes you want to shut down, and you don’t want to let anything in.  But artists must let everything in.  And then, the stuff that sticks, that’s the stuff that we are meant to make. 

3) Does being a Hispanic have an influence in the work you do? 
Everything about me has an influence on the work I do!  I think that growing up Latino, in a Latino neighborhood, speaking Spanish and English… all of it informs my work.  I think that even when the subject matter of what I’m writing about isn’t “quote unquote” Latino, I think that there is a sensibility there, which is informed by my Latino upbringing, that is a part of who I am.

4) What is the biggest challenge that you face?
The biggest challenge that I face, is the challenge that all artists face: which is recognizing the right idea to run with.  Musicals take a long time, so you can start working on one, and three years down the road realize: “Oh, this isn’t it.”  As artists, we fall in love with our work for our living, and sometimes projects don’t work out.  But any artist’s challenge is to nurture an idea from it being just an idea, followed by the hard work of building the infrastructure, of building the thing – it’s own thing.

5) If you could change anything about what you do, what would it be?
I would make theater ticket prices cheaper!  That’s easier said than done, obviously, and that’s actually not my job as an artist.  My job is to write the shows, not produce them.  And things are expensive to produce.  But luckily, there are ways to make theater tickets afforfable.  For example, we recently announced a new initiative by the Rockefeller Foundation, that will provide tickets for “Hamilton” to 20,000 New York City students.  It would be great to see initiatives like this expand  and grow.

6 )What was a childhood ambition of yours?
I wanted to be either a Hollywood movie director, or a Hollywood stuntman.  But then I realized that I didn’t like getting hurt or going fast, so the stuntman idea went out the window.  Later, I discovered that I was always making up songs, and then at some point, I turned in that direction; and ran with it. 

7) Three leaders that you admire:
Martin Luther King:  I admire his mix of compassion, and urgency and social justice.  He was able to harness a lot of conflicting and really tough challenges, into an amazing movement.

Broadway Director Hal Prince:  He is the inventor of the “getting everybody in the room and on the same page” approach to stage directing and leadership.  His notion of “the best idea in the room wins” can be applied in all aspects of life.

Rubén Blades:  He has been a songwriter, an actor, a politician.  He just kind of does whatever he thinks he should be doing next.  And that is the mark of a true artist.  He doesn’t plan his career by what “looks good” or what’s “hot” at the moment.  It is about what’s inside him that he feels he must do.  And I hope I find that same internal compass. 

8) Business meetings preference – 
I love a good lunch meeting!  I never think of dinner meetings because I’m always doing a show!

9) Sacrifices that you have made to become successful at what you do?
The sacrifice is always time.  It takes a long time to write shows.  It takes a long time to make art.  And the only way to minimize that sacrifice, is to surround yourself with people who love you, who understand what your work is, and “get” what you are doing.  Even if that means a little bit less time for them.  I am married to a wonderful woman who is passionate about her own field practice.  If I am off writing all-night, she is off working too, and we come back, and find each other at the end of the day.

10) Favorite Quote:
“This Too Shall Pass” – It is my mother’s favorite quote.  It is true in the good times and the bad times.  It is just true.

11) Is it difficult to be unconventional? 
I don’t set out to be unconventional.  I think that leadership and success come from finding your “internal compass” – finding the things that you want to put into the world, and feel uniquely suited to do or to create.  That is very hard, but finding that story that you feel uniquely suited to tell or write is essential.

12) Description about the Company/Artist

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hispanic business leaders endorse Bill King for mayor

With about a month to go before the runoff election for Houston mayor, candidate Bill King is getting new endorsements.

Today, Hispanic leaders from Houston's business community announced their endorsement. Former City Council members James Rodriguez and Feliz Fraga also offered their support.

King says his new endorsements know a fiscal conservative is needed to address the city's finances.

Read full article

Friday, October 30, 2015

Local Hispanic business leaders talk millennials, familia, road bumps and opportunity

District Taco co-owner and CEO Osiris Hoil received some good advice not long after he came to the U.S.: “You don’t need to work hard; you need to work smart.”

When Hoil couldn’t afford a formal education to learn English on his restaurant salary, working 70 hours a week, he found his own way. After his shifts, around 10 p.m., the 18-year-old would spend time in the restaurant’s bar, talking to people.

“The drunk people were teaching me the words that I’d need to know,” Hoil said lightheartedly but sincerely at the D.C. Hispanic Impact Summit on Friday, drawing laughter from the audience.

Read full article

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Profiles of Success recognizes Latino leaders in metro Phoenix

Valley leaders serving the Latino community took center stage Friday in the annual Profiles of Success program. The awards event is organized by Valle del Sol, a non-profit organization for the Hispanic community in the Phoenix metro area.

The group honored 12 individuals and businesses for their work serving the Latino community. During the ceremony, they also honored former Gov. Raul Castro, the first and only Latino to hold the state’s top office, who died in April.

Read full article

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jhoni the Voice >

Jhoni the Voice, Singer

What do you need to be a leader?
You need to have a vision. A point - where you see yourself leading and visualize yourself as that person. 

What inspired you in your life? 
GOD and the people around me, my environment inspires me.

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business? 
Absolutely, my roots trace to the Dominican Republic and it’s something that I take everywhere with me.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead? 
I try to not think about it, I have faith in myself and my team, I don’t think about the problem I think about the solution.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
It’s trying to get the public to listen to something brand new. Something that’s different to what’s on the radio, so it has to be done right. New music, it doesn’t happen over night but it can be done.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I wouldn’t really change anything, but I’d do more for sure.

What was your childhood ambition? 
To be one of the greatest singers.

Tell us about three leaders that you admire.
Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln – they truly changed the world for many and definitely, Da Vinci, he was completely out of his mind and out of this world.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
Selling my life to people. A lot of artists don’t realize that your main product is your life and it’s truly a sensitive matter– but it’s real and it has to be done if you want to succeed as an artist.

What is your favorite quote? 
“It’s progress not perfection.”

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
No, definitely not for me.

Biggest mistake made?
Falling in love too young.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, because I don’t like the norm,  and since that’s one of the main qualities in an innovator, I know that it’s about stepping outside of the box to redefine something and I’m comfortable with that.

About the Artist:
See Jhoni biography here

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ruben Diaz Jr. >

Ruben Diaz, Jr Bronx Borough President. 

1) What do you need to be leader?

Leading by example is key. Sometimes you have to show your constituents that you are willing to make the same sacrifices that you are asking of them in order to achieve overall success. A good example is our "#Not62" campaign, where we are emphasizing to the residents of The Bronx to live healthier lifestyles. It would not make sense for me to ask this of Bronxites, preach about the importance of healthy eating and exercise, and then I do the exact opposite. Nothing wrong with indulging with a cupcake here or there but a key component of "#Not62" is showing off the different ways to be healthy via social media.

2) Being Hispanic...Does it have any influence on your business?
Considering that 54.6% of The Bronx's population is Hispanic and considering that 37.6% of businesses owned in the borough are owned by Hispanics, absolutely, it does have an influence on how I go about business. Being bilingual, as well as being born and raised in The Bronx, I can make a connection with Bronx residents. Growing up in the burning Bronx of the 1970's and the 1980's, I have gone through similar experiences as a large portion of my constituents, helping me in understanding the needs of the community.

3) In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I don't believe in quitting, I believe in finding solutions. Because I have a lot of people depending on the decisions that I make, I cannot afford to cower to adversity. All you can do is keep going, pushing for results.

4) If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
If I could change one thing, I would have it so that whenever we go through the ULURP [Uniform Land Use Review Process], the public review process, that the borough presidents have veto power. The ULURP is whenever you have a project that is going to be developed on public property, and it has gone through the Request For Proposal process (RFP), or you need re-zoning – whether up-zone or down-zone an area – you have to go through the community board, the borough president and then the City Council. Currently, if the borough president is against a project, he or she can be overruled by the Council or the planning board. So I would have it where the borough presidents would have veto power.

I would also change that our budget be autonomous, being that we get elected by the people of our borough.

5) What was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be an NBA basketball player. I was going to be a New York Knick in my mind.

6) Tell us about three people that you admire?
The three people I admire the most are my son, Ruben Diaz III – my son is just the best person on the planet. I admire U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and I admire NBA legend Magic Johnson.

7) For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I prefer lunch meetings. I'm more of an introvert in the morning and when I have meeting at night, sometimes they can go on longer than you expect. At lunch, you're just sharper and you have more pep in your step.

8) What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I sacrificed being around my wife when we were a young married couple. I got first elected into public office at the age of 23. I ran for office for the very first time at the age of 22. I sacrificed being around my sons. I was up in Albany, during my time on the State Assembly, three or four days a week, six to seven months out of the year for 13 years. That's a lot of sacrifices on your family time.

9) What is your favorite quote?
I have a lot of favorite quotes. Most recently, I used a quote in my "State of the Borough" address from former New York Governor the late Mario Cuomo's 1984 National Democratic Convention speech: "We believe in a government strong enough to use words like 'love' and 'compassion' and smart enough to convert our noblest aspirations into practical realities."

10)  Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I believe in this line of work, you have to be innovative, always thinking outside the box. There are always pitfalls along the way, especially dealing with different personalities, various groups and various entities with their own set of goals that require innovative thinking in order to find solutions everyone can live with. You have to be quick on your feet, navigating past those obstacles in order to do what's best for your constituents.

11)  A brief description of the Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City, with a population of 1.4 million people, and is home to the largest Hispanic population in the city. Since I was elected as Bronx Borough President, in 2009, we've seen unprecedented, transformative growth having built nearly 16,000 new units of housing, and created more than 15,000 new jobs, with unemployment down nearly five percent and investments record highs. We have seen a lot of success and growth during my tenure office and we will continue to build on these successes in the coming years.

See Mr. Mr. Ruben Diaz Jr. Biography

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